There are few subtleties in the blackened death-thrash of Louisiana blasphemers Goatwhore, who forsake any sort of ebb and flow in favor of pure unrelenting brutality. Fierce blast beats, barreling double-bass drumming and flailing, maniacal fills set the pace for the band’s fifth album Blood for the Master, a sinister paean to hatred and aggression that’s hardly innovative, but nonetheless their finest to date. Throughout, Goatwhore don’t so much reinvent their sound as refine it, combining the old-school black metal (think Bathory and Hellhammer) of 2006′s A Haunting Curse with the Motorhead-ish punk inflections of 2009′s Carving Out the Eyes of God. Regardless of the tempos, guitarist Sammy Duet fills the songs with enough augmented and diminished chords, quasi-melodic fills and cat-strangling solos to keep the music moving. And while he never resorts to melody, vocalist Louis B. Falgoust II shifts from a throat-shredding roar to a mid-range rasp, vomiting bile at those who deign to worship in the house of God. Whether Goatwhore are trudging over sacred burial sites (“When Steel and Bone Meet,” “Death to the Architects of Heaven”) or violently crashing the pearly gates (“Collapse in Eternal Worth,” “Beyond the Spell of Discontent”), Blood For the Master demonstrates that extreme metal needn’t be revolutionary, just exquisitely ugly, uncompromising and satisfying as sin.
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